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Pre Dentistry, Pre Medicine,
& Pre Veterinary Medicine
(PRED, PREM, PVET)

Health Careers Advisory Committee

Robert E. Cannon, Chair, and Professor, Department of Biology

Nancy Bucknall, Director, College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center (CASA)

Thomas Kwapil, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Bill Johnson, Student Success Coordinator, School of Health and Human Performance

Ron Morrison, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition

Stephen Danford, Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Jason Reddick, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Students should contact a member of this committee for assistance in planning their program of study.

The admission requirements vary slightly among the various schools and programs. For specific information students should write directly to the individual schools for catalogs or consult the library. Other sources of information are current volumes of Medical School Admission Requirements and Admission Requirements of American Dental Schools.

The preprofessional programs constitute a core of courses that must be completed before admission to the professional schools. They can be successfully incorporated into almost any major. It has been shown in the case of medical schools that the choice of major does not significantly affect the student’s probability of admission. Students should give consideration to any major which they find interesting and in which they feel they can do well. Nearly all students accepted to medical, dental, and veterinary schools have completed a bachelor’s degree.

Medical schools generally require 2 semesters of English; 2 semesters of general biology (BIO 111, 112); 2 semesters of general chemistry with laboratory (CHE 111, 112, 114, 115); 2 semesters of organic chemistry with laboratory (CHE 351, 352, 354); 2 semesters of physics (PHY 211, 212 or 291, 292). A few schools (e.g., Duke) also require mathematics through Calculus (MAT 191).

Other courses that are often recommended include Human Physiology (BIO 277), Biochemistry (CHE 420 or 556), Genetics (BIO 392), Functional Microscopic Anatomy (BIO 472).

Dental school preparatory course requirements are usually very much like those for medical school. Many schools do, however, require Anatomy (BIO 271).

The list of required courses for veterinary schools is considerably more extensive than that for medical or dental schools. In addition to specifying more courses in mathematics, chemistry, and biology, these programs typically require or recommend more courses in animal science, general microbiology (BIO 481), biochemistry (CHE 420 or 556), animal nutrition, and possibly some business courses. Significant work experience with animals or in a veterinarian’s practice is required. Students interested in veterinary school should make contact with the school and with the advisory committee at an early stage of their undergraduate careers.

The achievement of outstanding academic credentials should not be accomplished at the cost of totally sacrificing extracurricular activities. Most professional programs prefer students who have participated in nonacademic activities and actively pursued a range of interests.

In addition to the core of preparatory courses, virtually all professional schools require some form of standardized test prior to consideration of a student’s admission application. These tests are usually taken in the spring before application is made. Medical schools require the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), dental schools the Dental Admission Test (DAT), and veterinary schools the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Aptitude Test.

Applications to professional schools are made a year before expected matriculation, usually between June 15 and November 15. Early application is strongly recommended. The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is the agent for most medical schools, and the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) is the agent for many dental schools. The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) is the agent for most veterinary medical schools. Application information is available from the committee. Veterinary, medical, and dental schools not subscribing to one of the application services must be contacted individually.